Today was so different from last Saturday! Bhí an aimsir go maith, tirm agus gan a bheith fuar. And as we were packing up the sun broke through and beat down for awhile.
Orla, Deirdre, Eileen and Steve were the foireann today (Bróna was away, a rare thing for her). It is worth noting that women have been an active part of this campaign group from the start and as some left for one reason or another, others have stepped forward and today are the main part of the core of the campaign.
This is not unusual in our history: it was women who, on its first anniversary in 1917, organised the first commemoration of the 1916 Rising and did so in defiance of military restrictions in place during WW1. It was also women who developed the Easter Lilly symbol and first organised its distribution as a paper badge in 1926 to raise funds for the care of Republican prisoners of the Free State and their dependents.
Women also form at least 50% of the signers of our petition (over 380,000 signatures), of Irish or migrant background (Galway, Rumania (settled) and Uganda people today). We forgot to count but the table we may well have collected well over 100 signatures today.
It is very encouraging to us to see parents and grandparents bringing children to the table and encouraging them to sign. Diarmuid always takes whatever opportunity he can to tell children about the Grotesque on top of No.55 with the missing wing-tip, shot off by a British bullet from the barricade at Parnell Street in 1916. The image of that sculpture is also, of course, our logo.
After Orla hung up the flags (which she had washed and dried after last week), our leafleters were spread around. Eileen took the boring station behind the market stands, handing people a leaflet directing them towards the table to sign the petition.
Steve had got hold of an old photograph on line of Henry Place and went around to spot the shape of old windows in the wall of No.10 (the HQ of the Rising after they left the GPO) and to photograph them (see album).
A man from the USA (by his accent) told us he’s lived nearby for some years but knew nothing about the O’Rahilly Monument in the lane off Moore Street or the story behind it. We told him and his two visitors from the US how we had pushed the Council for years to erect a signpost to that monument and how, despite promises, they had failed to do so. Last year we erected our own placard signposts and earlier this year the Council had finally erected a signpost at the corner.
As yet no update available on the High Court hearing sought by Hammerson to hear their objections to the Council’s naming buildings in “the 1916 Terrace” as “protected structures”. nor on our and others’ appeals to An Bord Pleanála against the Hammerson Plan for Moore Street being approved by DCC’s Planning Department.
There was a media article on the new market stalls (tent-style, mostly) which did not comment on the 1916 history of the street even once. We will provide a link to that article and comment on it in more detail on a future occasion.
HOW TO HELP THE CAMPAIGN? Probably the most helpful thing you can do is to publicise the campaign and you can do that by sharing our posts from time to time, from our Facebook page or website smsfd.ie, reaching people we can’t and which the media doesn’t care to.